During my years of industrial marketing and sales, I learned that there is a big difference between corporate information and Strategic Knowledge. Corporate information usually consists of internal raw data while Strategic Knowledge is the business wisdom necessary to achieve profitable growth consistently. Although internal data is necessary to manage logistic or tactical areas like, supply chain, manufacturing, accounts receivable, transportation, accounts payable or customer service; it’s far from enough to perform marketing and sales management jobs effectively, namely increasing market share, revenue and ultimately net profit.
The reason is simple, internal data is a by-product of the order entry system (ERP), designed to ship orders on time; not to build a strategic data base for marketing use.
Unfortunately, most Business Intelligence (BI) implementations populate sophisticated BI software with just internal raw data from the ERP.
This is only half of the story because ERP data does not usually contain competitive or market intelligence. This is the reason why BI usually does not provide the immediate strategic analysis and direction necessary to grow the businesses, leaving Marketing and Sales teams struggling to find the information they need to increase profitability.
Typically, after Sales or Marketing run BI reports several times and they keep seeing the wrong structure or hierarchy in their customers, markets, segments and territories, they stop using BI and continue making decisions the old fashion way: based on intuition.
by Bill Cabiro and Strat-Wise LLC
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